As I Ought to Speak

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20 KJV).

The Apostle Paul, writing from his Roman prison (“in bonds”), exhorted the Ephesians to not only pray “for all saints,” but to pray for him too. Why?

Today, there is a battle between good and evil, a war between God and Satan. We Christians are soldiers in that war: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (verse 12).

As Christians, we are Satan’s enemies. In order to attack God, the devil will target us, God’s children! Thankfully, in Christ Jesus, we have been equipped to “stand against the wiles [tricky schemes] of the devil” (verse 11). In Christ, we have “the armour of God” and “the power of [the Lord’s] might” (verses 10-16). God has also given us His written Word, the Bible, “the sword of the Spirit,” to defend ourselves (verse 17). “But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

This battle intensifies when Satan distracts Christians so they lose sight of their victory in Christ. We Christians, in discouragement, begin to retreat. The Holy Spirit, knowing this, interjected today’s Scripture into this passage. There are times when we fear speaking out for God and His Word. We fear rejection and shame. This is why Paul, in today’s Scripture, asked the Ephesians to pray for him—he needed to “speak boldly” and preach Christ Jesus in that awful, nerve-racking prison.

Saints, pray for all our Christian brethren who, like us, also experience trepidation when evangelizing the lost and teaching God’s Word. Pray that they be bold, for remember, “they [and we] ought to speak….”

The Ever-Luminous Beacon

Saturday, October 15, 2011

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV).

Life is sometimes a lonely, dark, confusing maze. During these disappointing and chaotic periods, where should we turn for advice? Today’s Scripture enlightens us. The Bible is a beacon shining brightly in the midst of life’s troubles.

Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” The Bible is “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16): it came from His mouth (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). Scripture gives us God’s wisdom regarding marriage, the workplace, parenting, friendships, enduring difficult times, but most importantly, how to be saved from our sins and obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ.

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130). God never intended His Word to answer every possible question. Contrariwise, God gave us His Word to teach us what we need to know—information that is of eternal value. We need sound doctrine that will carry us through this earthly life and right into eternity. The Bible does not give us all the answers, but it does educate us about God’s purpose and plan for the heaven and earth. Furthermore, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon teach us what God is doing today.

God has “magnified [his] word above all [his] name” (Psalm 138:2). “The word of the Lord endureth for ever” (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25). The Bible is “truth” (John 17:17). God’s Word is unlike any other book. The King James Bible is God’s preserved Word in English, so it should serve as your final authority in life. As we study God’s Word rightly divided as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs—understanding what Scripture is written to and about us versus what is written to Israel—and place our faith in what we read, God the Holy Spirit will then take His Word and use it to work within us for His glory.

With the King James Bible in hand, we always have the (free!) counsel of God, the ever-luminous beacon, literally at our fingertips….

As We Stand Before God Our Saviour

Friday, October 14, 2011

“To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV).

Every chapter of 1 Thessalonians concludes with a reference to the rapture, Christ gathering the Church that is His Body (1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:17; 5:23). Actually, today’s Scripture describes an event that will occur after the rapture.

Saints, one day (the rapture), the trump of God shall sound and we shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! After the rapture, we will stand before “the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not where we answer for sin, but rather when Jesus Christ evaluates our Christian lives and spiritual maturity. Each of us will give an individual account to the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10). Jesus Christ will compare our spiritual maturity (the doctrine we believed) to Paul’s epistles. On this basis, the Lord will give us a role (a position in the government of the heavenly places) (Ephesians 2:6,7).

But, notice Christ’s coming in today’s Scripture is not His coming “for all His saints” (the rapture), but rather with all His saints.” After the spiritual capacities of the members of the Body of Christ have been judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus Christ will take us with Him to meet God the Father. Today’s Scripture describes when Jesus Christ will present us to our Father God. Wow!

God the Father will then appoint us to those positions of the heavenly government that Jesus Christ determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Remember that our individual roles (offices) are determined by how much sound doctrine we built up in our inner man. This is why dispensational Bible study, “rightly dividing the word of truth,” is so important. We do not want to stand before God “ashamed,” which will SADLY be the case for many Christians because they never studied the Bible God’s way (2 Timothy 2:15).

Seeing the World With a New Perspective

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

Yesterday, after 10 days of being unable to use one of my eyes, I was exuberant to hear and “see” the world from a new perspective. As it is in the physical world, so it is in the spiritual world. Just as infection rendered one my physical eyes useless, and thus my being unable to see with it, so sin renders man’s spiritual eyes useless.

Several passages in the Bible use the word “darkness” to describe lost mankind in his natural spiritual blindness (for instance, Psalm 69:23; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 60:2; Matthew 4:16; Acts 26:18; Romans 1:21; Romans 2:19; Romans 11:10; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Ephesians 4:17-19; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9-10). In this the Dispensation of Grace, Israel’s spiritual eyes are temporarily blinded (Acts 13:6-11; Romans 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16).

The heart of a lost (unsaved) person is totally dark, spiritually blinded. A lost man’s spirit is dead, unable to function and commune with God (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). He knows nothing about God and avoids God.

Suddenly, the glorious light of God’s Word shines brightly, penetrating that callous, dim soul. As that lost soul hears and believes the Gospel of Grace—how that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)—it is regenerated and “quickened” (made alive; Ephesians 2:1,5). God’s Holy Spirit illuminates that soul so that it realizes what it never knew before: it was destined for hell, but by God’s grace, it is now “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).

Before we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, our souls (minds) were dark. Now that we are in Christ, the indwelling Holy Ghost teaches us through His written Word that which we knew not in our natural (lost) state (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; Ephesians 1:17,18). We “see” the world from a new perspective—God’s perspective.

Cunning Craftiness

Monday, October 10, 2011

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14 KJV).

The Greek word translated “cunning craftiness” in today’s Scripture is utilized four other times in God’s Word.

  • Jesus knew the craftiness of those who were trying to trick Him (Luke 20:23).
  • The Bible says, “He [God] taketh the wise in their own craftiness(1 Corinthians 3:19).
  • In 2 Corinthians 4:2 Paul writes, “But [we] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the world of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
  • The Bible says (2 Corinthians 11:3): “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent [Satan] beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

God created Lucifer (Satan) “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Satan is so intelligent he could manipulate Eve to question and doubt God’s Word: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1). Satan is a smooth-talking individual just like today’s charismatic, “feel-good” message preachers!

Satan has devised extremely sneaky plans. He will use men of high religious standing, including “church fathers,” preachers, and seminary professors. Satan will use what you least expect him to use—that which appears innocent and godly. He has been operating this counterfeit program for 6,000 years. It is downright amazing to see how cunning Satan’s deception actually is!

Satan’s greatest achievement in deceiving the Body of Christ is producing corrupt Bible manuscripts (and their English counterparts). Avoid the modern Bibles (NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, NRSV, HCSB, TEV/GNB, et cetera): these are the greatest false teachers of all. You can only trust the King James Bible. Be not “tossed to and fro.” Believe the King James Bible rightly divided, and you will not fall prey to Satan’s “cunning craftiness.”

Be a Berean Bible Student

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11 KJV).

The believing Jews of Berea (verse 10) were certainly not like most professing Christians today. According to today’s Scripture there are two defining characteristics of a Berean:

  1. “they received the word with all readiness of mind” — A Berean will have a balance between an open mind and a mind that cannot be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Lost people, and even some saved people, are so set in their ways they do not want to believe the Bible, especially if it contradicts what they have always heard in religion/church. We should be open-minded about what someone says, but we do not want to be swayed by every whim of religious leaders and hierarchies. What is most important is that we receive God’s Word—not “preacher talk”—“with all readiness of mind.”

  2. “they searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” — Here is man’s number one failure: he believes anything and everything except what God’s Word says. Even the average Christian is guilty of ignoring the testimony of God’s Word! Never depend on what the preacher says, and never depend on what I say. Rather than “going by what the preacher said,” these saints actually studied the Bible to determine if what the preacher said was really what God’s Word said. The Bereans compared what Paul said to the Old Testament Scriptures. God’s Word “rightly divided” is the standard whereby we judge the veracity or the dishonesty of anyone’s statements. Study the Bible “rightly divided” as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs, believe the Bible “rightly divided” as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs, and you will be a Berean Bible student… never mind you do not live in Berea! 🙂

“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7).

 

The Bible is the Final Authority

Friday, September 30, 2011

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3 KJV).

Most church members view their denomination/pastor/priest as the final authority. Satan uses religion to indoctrinate people with the “tradition of men” (Colossians 2:8). If the church says it is right, then it must be right. Right? WRONG! The written Word of God, not church tradition, is the standard by which we should measure spiritual things because the Bible alone speaks with God Almighty’s authority.All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In Isaiah 8:19 the prophet mentions “them that have familiar spirits” and “wizards that peep and mutter”—evil spirits and false prophets. God urged Israel to distinguish Satan’s false prophets from His holy prophets by comparing their teaching to His written Word: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (verse 20).

Even in Isaiah’s day (~2,700 years ago), God’s written Word was the standard by which everything was judged. The Bereans were notable for comparing their leaders’ teaching and preaching to the Old Testament (Acts 17:10,11). The Bible alone teaches God’s truth, so any contrary teaching was thereby exposed as satanic deception. According to Acts 17:2 and Acts 18:28, the Apostle Paul always appealed to the Old Testament Scriptures when evangelizing Jews (recall no New Testament had been written yet).

The Lord Jesus quoted the Old Testament: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus Himself even read from the Bible in Luke 4:16-21! The New Testament quotes the Old Testament over 200 times (i.e., “as it is written…”).

According to the Bereans, Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah, and the Apostle Paul, the Bible is the final authority. God’s authority lies in the Holy Scriptures, not in any church hierarchy. No pastor, priest, or pope shares the Bible’s authority. The King James Bible is always the final authority, not religious tradition (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13).